In January, both France and launched an effort to pool their online poker players so as to revive the industry following its decimation by some ring-fenced policies that both countries’ governments have adopted in the past. One of the effects of this development has been a significant spike in the Spanish online poker revenue in the first quarter of the year.
According to the first quarter financials that were released last week by Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), the Spanish regulator, the total revenue for online gambling in the country hit a whopping $190.5 million – this, in comparison to the revenue statistics from the same period last year, represents a mind-blowing 28 percent revenue jump.
Sports betting boasted of the lion’s share of the profit having generated $95.3 million, which is nearly half the profit. This particular sector also went up 15.9 percent from the same period last year. However, when compared to the gains from online poker, the revenues from sports betting turn out not to be as impressive.
The country’s poker revenues hit a record $25 million, with the cash games actions going up 30 percent to $9.8 million. Tournament revenue went up by a whopping a 50.2 percent to $15.2 million. In addition to this, total expenditures on the Spanish cash games went up 19 percent while the tournaments went up 40.4 percent.
Is Shared Liquidity Paying Off?
From the revenue statistics, this appears to be the case. Spain is just the latest benefactor of the new shared liquidity agreement that comprises of four EU companies: Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy. France and Spain become the first to get into the agreement and the French online poker industry has also equally benefited from the agreement as there was an immediate improvement in the gross gaming revenue – it went up 8 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
Portugal joined the pool in early May and this, in turn, pushed the profits of the pool even higher. GameIntel reports that cash game traffic on the share liquidity online poker network saw a 27 percent boost in the first week of after Portugal joined in.
Being the first online poker operator to share its Spanish, Portugal and French online poker players, PokerStars managed to get an early head start in the new shared liquidity landscape. However, this is bound to change very soon as now a number of new players are eyeing the lucrative opportunity that the share liquidity agreement presents.
Some of these online poker operators that are going to give PokerStars a run for its money are Winimax, which will kick off their offerings with Spain and France later this year, and PartyPoker which is expected to connect its Spanish and French poker player on June 4.